A Modern Tribute To Maison Margiela

Stylists often use fashion history and iconic brands for inspiration. Academy of Art University BFA Styling student Daniela Santos succeeded in adopting the ‘90’s deconstruction quality of Maison Martin Margiela into her latest photo shoot and transporting it into 2016 with a hint of nostalgia – and lots of creativity.

Maison Martin Margiela (MMM) came into the scene during Paris Fashion Week in 1989. Surreal and shock-provoking, with a hint of grunge and an offbeat silhouette, were some of the words used to describe the brand. Many fashion insiders fell in love with the deconstructed forms and the use of recycled materials and graffiti. Martin Margiela left the label in 2009; his team continued to produced collections until designer John Galliano joined the company in 2014.

MMM’s bold look has kept everyone inspired for decades; Santos’ work is a great example of how to adapt it.

Flore Morton, Assistant Director of Fashion Styling and Fashion Editor of 180 Magazine explained how Daniela succeeded in achieving a modern tribute to the Margiela look.

Fashion School Daily: What was the primary task of the project?

Flore Morton: Students had to investigate the visual identity and styling of a brand to conceptualize and style a fashion menswear photo shoot. Daniela decided to investigate Maison (Martin) Margiela and went through the rabbit hole of its archives for women and mostly menswear (although both are sometimes really intertwined). Students were expected to customize pieces to fit the visual identity, and be extra resourceful to communicate the style of the brand.

FSD: What were the challenges of that particular photo shoot? And how did Daniela overcome them?

FM: Daniela did not have the connections to pull from the Margiela store nor did she know anybody who could lend her archival pieces from MMM. She then thrifted pieces from Goodwill, then slashed them, or painted them with white primer paint. Her styling, combined with the talent of photographer Jen Lovely, and good model casting, make this photo shoot very close in spirit to Maison Martin Margiela in the 90s.

FSD: As an instructor, what impressed you about Daniela’s styling point of view?

FM: Being able to grasp all the elements that make a brand so memorable is difficult in itself. It is even more impressive for a student to be able to translate and execute it into fashion imagery. She was able to pull all her resources and creativity into one project to grow as a stylist and make it happen.  At the junior level of the styling program, it is, in general, the time students find their style. During her semester in FSH 384 Menswear Styling, she certainly did.

Daniela Santos is expected to graduate from AAU in 2017 and continues to develop her portfolio and to work as a personal stylist, editorial styling, and fashion product styling. To see more of Santos’ work, go to visit her website.
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Photographer: Jen Lovely
Stylist: Dani Santos
Hair & Makeup: Danielle Fisk
Model: Ethan W. (Stars)

Text by Adelina Gonzalez Alcorta, MA Fashion Journalism student.